5 Potentially Troubling CMS Medicare Changes in 2016

Medicare can be a confusing process, there’s no denying it. And each year brings with it changes that can radically shift how Medicare operates over time. Below are five major concerns you should be aware of when considering what 2016 will bring to CMS’s programs.

  1. 30% of the recipients of Medicare Part B may see an increase to their premiums: If you pay your Part B premium directly out of your Social Security check – you’re lucky—you won’t have to shoulder the Medicare Part B increase as there is no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) being given to Social Security beneficiaries this year. If you pay Medicare yourself directly, you will, however, be charged. Talks are circulating about a 52% increase in premium to $159.30 a month, according to the Medical Trustees Report.
  2. Medicare Part B deductibles will see a dramatic increase: Predictions estimate an increase of $76 in the Medicare Part B deductible for everyone. This will cover care provided before the patient is admitted to hospital. Outpatient medical tests and procedures, doctor visits are all included in this part of the coming CMS Medicare changes.
  3. Women taxpayers will use, and pay for, more services: Medicare recipients age 85 and older are now 70% women. Women outlive men, and in the course of their longer life, it is likely that they will experience 3-4 chronic medical conditions, including where physical and cognitive impairments are concerned that interfere with their ability to live in an independent manner.
  4. One thing which you could do can actually cause more harm than doing good: You can consider enrolling in Medicare now, rather than in 2016 if you’re eligible. Before 2015 ends, you may also sign up for Social Security benefits and enroll in the program which will have your Medicare premiums deducted from the monthly payment. After 66, each year you delay – there will be an 8% increase in social security benefits till you turn 70.
  5. Medicare Part D open enrollment will lead to increasing costs as well: This part of Medicare covers prescription drugs. According to experts, this is also the part which during this open enrollment period you should watch closely as costs are predicted to increase here also. Currently, 58% of all stand-alone prescription drug plans have deductibles higher than $0, and 44% have the maximum allowed deductible of $320 that participants must reach before drug expenses are covered.

This may be a convoluted map of changes, but it is essential that seniors and those involved in their care stay updated during this critical time for CMS updates.

If you want to know more about CMS Medicare Changes and get more info on updates for 2016, join the conference Medicare Updates 2016 to be scheduled on Wednesday, December 09, 2015 where expert speaker Jill Young will explain the final CMS/Medicare policies and directions that you are supposed to face in 2016.

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